Trump pulling U.S. out of Paris climate deal - Axios report

Donald Trump is to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, White House sources have reportedly revealed.

Even if Trump withdraws, Guterres said, "it's very important for US society as a whole — the cities, the states, the companies, the businesses — to remain engaged".

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" he tweeted on the final day of a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy at which he refused to bow to pressure from allies to back the landmark 2015 agreement.

"Like you I've seen the reports but I don't have any information beyond that", German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters.

Trump's decision will put the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The "stay-in" camp, which included Trump's daughter Ivanka, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, had argued the United States could reduce its voluntary emission-cuts targets while still keeping a voice within the accord.

The absence of the United States, the world's second-largest greenhouse gas polluter, will not prevent other Paris Agreement signatories from sticking to their commitments, but it would weaken its chances of being enforced.

"Eighty percent of the world's energy still comes from fossil fuels — oil, gas and coal", Guterres said.

Trump said he would "cancel" the deal on the campaign trial and his campaign's energy plan included a pledge to "cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to United Nations global warming programs".

Axios reports that Trump has told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he wants to remove the U.S. from the agreement.

But the White House's confusion over the decision and its wider ramifications was perhaps summed up best by Sean Spicer, Trump's spokesman, who on Tuesday was asked the simple question of whether Trump believed global warming was spurred by human activity, a subject he has previously vacillated upon.

The agreement was signed in 2015 and set out a number of highly ambitious pledges to reduce climate change.

After the address, Guterres was asked to address the possibility that the U.S. may leave the Paris agreement this very week.

The decision would be a significant foreign policy break with almost every other nation on earth and a major reversal of the Obama administration's efforts on climate change.

He said he will strengthen North-South, South-South and other partnerships to implement the Paris Agreement.

Aides to Trump said he was listening with an open mind to the other leaders' arguments about Paris, but didn't feel obligated to heed their calls to remain within the pact. The issue of climate change has divided key officials in the administration.

Trump himself hailed what he called "a tremendously productive meeting", saying he had strengthened USA ties with longstanding partners. It must be noted that former president Barack Obama, who helped broker the accord, had praised the pact during a trip to Europe earlier this month.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham criticized his GOP colleagues following the release of the letter, warning that pulling out of the Paris accord would amount to "a statement that climate change is not a problem, is not real". Trump has already said he's reviewing that order, along with other aspects of his predecessor's climate agenda.

  • Leroy Wright